WHEN American citizen Andrew Reich started working for a large quality control firm in Shenzhen in 2003, not only did he fall in love with China, he also saw a wealth of opportunity in the industry arising from issues with integrity and communication. What he noticed was that most of the inspectors in large QC firms were earning relatively low salaries and companies did not spend time and money on cultural and team-building activities.
In 2008, his dream of building a QC company in China, one that focused on eliminating corruption internally and providing a higher level of inspection and auditing, became a reality.
Reich grew up in Long Island, New York, the son of two teachers who had fierce habits of enforcing good grammar and organizational skills at home. This had a major impact on his life, as he developed his own passion for creating strong procedures and systems for monitoring and managing teams.
To say that Reich loves Shenzhen and China would be an understatement because he considers Shenzhen as his first home. His passion for the culture, food and language — in which he is fluent — grows every day. Having seen Shenzhen develop rapidly firsthand over the past 12 years, he’s constantly amazed by the city’s ability to “get things done” on time and within budget. This aspect has rubbed off on Reich during his time here and now he uses it as a motto for the services he brings to his clients.
When he founded his company, InTouch Quality, seven years ago, it was this passion that allowed him to achieve immediate success. Reich spent the first few years focused on developing procedures, templates, and management techniques that would allow the company to grow in a stable fashion, adding new clients along the way.
What he had noticed at his previous job was that the existing players in the QC market did not do a very good job of developing detailed QC checklists — guides for all the quality specifications related to a particular product or product line.
Reich’s key to success is that he is perhaps more Chinese than Chinese people in some aspects. He holds all his meetings and daily conversations in Mandarin. While there are many foreigners in China who speak fluent Mandarin, only a handful are able to fully immerse themselves as deeply into the culture as Reich.
Following his realization of the importance of being able to communicate in the language, he focused on hiring people that had strong backgrounds in Chinese, quality and manufacturing, but not in third party QC inspection. Through the development of progressive and systematic HR and recruiting techniques, Reich also focused on hiring fresh graduates and entry-level staff, developing them internally to be sure that the company stayed away from the bad habits he had witnessed before.
More than anything else, Reich built a high-integrity team through cultural and team-building activities. Reich believes that his future is firmly in Shenzhen and his heart is deeply embedded in making sure that whatever goods are made in China and shipped overseas are handled and checked properly. As Reich says, the future’s bright for him, Shenzhen and China.